Students ready for a fast connection

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 08:56 07/07/2014
Denyse Healy
SVEN HERSELMAN/FAIRFAX MEDIA
TECH SAVVY: Springlands School pupils, from left, Jess Harvey, 10, Zaylia Molholland, 9, and Halaevalu Pani, 10, enjoy doing their school work on computers.

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A technology-filled classroom with fast access to the internet is what pupils at Springlands School would like to see in the not too distant future.

They hope to have this in their school now, but also think possible plans for new colleges in Blenheim should put a big focus on e-learning.

The pupils in room 17 have already used their tech savvy to produce a two-minute video for the Gigaschools contest, and help promote the need for fast internet access in Blenheim.

Teacher Aaron Taylor said the project was totally driven by the pupils, and even the soundtrack for the video was performed and recorded by them.

"We are often limited with what we can do online because of the slow internet connection in Blenheim.

"We try things like online videos doing a walk through a museum but can't because the connection is so slow. There are amazing things you can do in the classroom with the internet but not with such a bad connection," he said.

Taylor, who comes from a background in e-learning classrooms and has taught overseas, said countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and Brunei had faster internet access than in Blenheim.

The pupils agreed and put the video together to highlight what they could do with a world-class internet connection in town. One pupil, Freya Thompson, 9, said they would have far more opportunities for learning.

Another pupil, Jessica Rowbottom, 10, said with a quicker internet connection more pupils could use technology to learn both in the classroom and at home.

"People can bring their own devices to school and use them. I think at college we will use things like laptops a lot more, too. Having new buildings with all that stuff in them, that lets us do that will be important," Jessica said.

Her fellow pupils agreed a modern learning environment with up-to-date technology would be top of their priority list for a new college building.

When it came to deciding if they preferred single-sex to co-ed education they were unanimous in wanting single-sex schools.

Their Gigaschools video needed to be viewed more than 500 times on YouTube to be considered for judging. It can be viewed by visiting youtube.co.nz and searching "Springlands School #gigatownbln".

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